Boo! Halloween isn’t just for kids. These are the best NYC Halloween events for grown-ups only, including crypt crawls, haunted houses and the Village Halloween Parade. Make reservations soonest for events with limited space, and to get your choice of dates. As always, nothing on the NYC on the Cheap list costs more than $25, and many events are FREE. Here are the best Halloween fun and games in NYC..
9th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Festival – Peer into the ghastly world of fiendish cults, ancient beings and otherworldly creatures so terrifying, merely looking upon them causes insanity! The ninth annual H.P. Lovecraft Festival celebrates Halloween and the horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, who Stephen King called “the greatest practitioner of horror in the 20th century.” Lit by candlelight and bathed in ghostly mist at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Radiotheatre performs his spooky stories. An original orchestral score and sound effects complete the bloodcurdling ambiance. This weekend and next weekend only. Get discount tickets here for just $10-$12.
44th Annual NYC Village Halloween Parade – Simply, this is the most wildly creative parade on the planet, with costumes you have to see to believe because they just can’t be described. Plus, hundreds of giant puppets, 53 bands, dancers and more. The parade takes over the streets of The Village (Greenwich Village on maps) on Halloween, Oct. 31, marching up Sixth Ave. from Spring to 16th St. FREE to watch and join in the fun.
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Crypt Crawl – Shake your spirits loose at this annual event at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Creep into the Cathedral’s crypt, hear the stories of the entombed, and learn the origins of Halloween as a Celtic New Year celebration, and its transformation into All Hallows Eve. Space is limited for one-hour crawls on Friday or Saturday, Oct. 27 and 28. Participants must be 12 years of age or older. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors with valid ID. Bring a flashlight.
Night of the Living Dead – Wear a costume for the Halloween costume parade, or become a part of the action with the pre-show zombie transformation station at this screening of the original zombie classic. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead began the massive pop culture zombie fixation in 1968. Come early and get your face painted by sci-fi/horror makeup specialist Donetta Riley. The pre-show includes a tribute to the late George Romero, a costume parade and a showing of short film Alice Jacobs Is Dead at New York’s United Palace Theatre. A post-movie zombie panel features filmmaker and comic book artist Sandy Jimenez, filmmaker Kenneth Filmer, and Alex Horwitz (Alice Jacobs Is Dead, Hamilton’s America). One night only, Sunday, Oct. 29, at a grand old movie theater in Washington Heights. Tickets online are COMP, with a small service fee.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt – Haunted houses are so overrated. Make this year’s Halloween festivities challenge your brain and explore the urban jungles of New York City on this scavenger hunt. Both spooky and brain rattling clues will take you around the city, and the winning team snags a special NYC gift package at the finish line. e sure to bring comfortable shoes, a smart phone and an even smarter team. Discount tickets for this one-night event on Tuesday, October 31 are just $19.50.
Haunted Lantern Tours -Join the Urban Park Rangers on a FREE outdoor, haunted tour of the historic Water Battery at Fort Totten Park. Saturday, Oct. 28. Please be in line on Shore Road by 6pm. for guaranteed admittance, and bring your own flashlight.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – Generally regarded as one of the best horror films ever made, celebrate Halloween with a screening of this 1920s silent classic, complete with a live, original musucal soundtrack. Caligari is the story of young love gone horribly wrong at the hands of a diabolical doctor who may be able to predict the future. With stylized, gothic sets that would influence future directors like Tim Burton, Caligari introduced cinema to the idea of the “twist” ending. Escape from the mad doctor before getting trapped in an insane asylum at this Silver Screen Experience. One night only, Oct. 31, at Kings Theater, Brooklyn. Discount tickets are $20.
Blood Manor Haunted House – NYC’s premier haunted attraction is all about fright-filled environments, including all-new attractions The Crypt, Thunderdome, The Wake, Maggot Invasion, Hannibal’s Hell, Killer Clown Room and Mayhem!, in which beasts and demons will vie for your body and your soul. Book discount tickets now for your choice of dates. Just $19-$32, vs. being haunted by paying the full walk-up price of $33-$53.
NYC Horror Film Festival – Oct. 22-29 at the Cinepolis Chelsea movie theater, includes vampires and other monsters, and appearances by filmmakers. The schedule includes both shorts and full-length features.